Fahrenheit Co. Ltd. has strongly denied media reports that the company has been involved in human trafficking, human smuggling, or illegal recruitment.
In a statement, the company said it “categorically and strongly denies and these false claims. In no way, or in any form whatsoever” is Fahrenheit Co. Ltd. involved in such accusations.
“We have been operating as a law-abiding and responsible business entity. We would not sacrifice our untarnished reputation just to be involved in illegal activities especially in something as grave as human smuggling.”
This statement is attributed to Isagani C. Cabrera, president of Fahrenheit Co. Ltd. “M/V Forever Lucky was not even scheduled to depart anywhere since at that night of July 3, there were some repairs being done in the ship,” he added in the statement.
It said that Fahrenheit Co. Ltd. has been in the business of port operations and other related businesses for the past 20 years.
In early July, news reports published the headline: “139 Filipino workers rescued from human trafficking.” The reports said that Fahrenheit Co. Ltd.—a diversified company with shipping as an integral part of its business—is involved in “possible human smuggling and other illegal activities” and through the intercession of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Coast Guard, “Fahrenheit’s ship – M/V Forever Lucky —was prevented to depart for Micronesia with about 139 undocumented Filipinos on board.”
Citing record, the statement said that the case filed against Cabrera, together with four of Fahrenheit’s workers, was downgraded to “illegal recruitment” because there was no compelling reason or evidence to charge them with “human smuggling” or “human trafficking.”
“In fact, the case filed against them was for alleged violations of R.A. 8042, otherwise known as the ‘Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995’ as amended by R.A. 10022. The Department of Justice, in a decision handed last July 9, already dismissed the case “for lack of probable cause,” the company statement said.
“How could we be involved in illegal recruitment when we are not even actively recruiting people for work abroad? There is not a single time when we, or the company, has even asked for any form of payment or fees in exchange for overseas employment. So the unfortunate events which happened were a big surprise to us since for the past two decades, we have been operating our business smoothly and efficiently,” said Cabrera.